The commitment you make to your health is the best one you can ever make.. it can save your life!
The past month has taught me many things of how your perception of "good" or "bad" situations can either keep you stuck where you are or help you both mentally and physically heal not only what you are presently going through, but past triggering experiences quicker than you expect!
Sitting in the doctors chair a week after having a obscure marking cut out from "down stairs", I was defiantly, to say the least, "caught back" when it came back positive to melanoma. It was a very surreal feeling, but one that was more "let's do what we have to do!", with fight or flight running extremely high! My first questions that came into my head were;
- How could I possibly have melanoma in a place where the sun doesn't reach?
- I'm too young to be able to have this?
- Am I going to die?
- I look after myself very well and don't sun bake?
- Plus a few other words and questions I can't mention..
Like any illness or anything connected to the word "cancer" (which hadn't even crossed my mind at this point in time, as until those words were said it wasn't an issue or even a point to consider in my head) if you've treated your body with poor lifestyle routines for years and then later on in life end up with an illness related to those habits that is (one of) your key points of reasoning for obtaining the illness, where as in my case it was "luck of the draw" that a cell had just turned bad. Having cases of cancer from both sides of my gene pool this is where the investigating had to start. I was due to leave on a re-treat for New Zealand the next day, all that kept going through my mind was "let's just do what we have to do, I'm not going to make this a big deal until it has to be!".
The turning point was when I spoke to my doctor and said "How serious are we talking right now? Should I be worried?" on his reply this was the realisation of how quickly life can turn, as he said "If you came any later we would've been having a very different conversation about your treatment, you've pretty much saved your life by getting yourself checked!" Well I tell you the tears came flooding in after that, as more of a form of relief than anything!
Taking every ounce of positivity out of what would've seemed to be a "negative" situation, became my saving grace. Walking out of the clinic that day, I started crying not because of the outcome but because of how quickly life can change, looking at all the little pointless things that we think should worry us or connect to, are not even worth putting energy into! Creating a mindset from creating your own suffering to happily embracing every single second as you don't know when your seconds of "worrying" might actually turn into something more than just that!
Going on my trip to New Zealand was the perfect timing, it was a time to reflect, sit with myself and get real on what I wanted to fill and live my life with, having lots of time to do this while being on a retreat, testing the body both mentally and physically. It's a funny thing though, it obviously came up in segments, but past experiences were more to the forefront of what I actually had to deal with, in my mind this didn't become a big deal, because I tried my hardest not to make it one. The realisation of my time away was one of being thankful for making that commitment to changing my mindset connected to my health and lifestyle habits so early on, as I truly believe if I didn't do so I wouldn't have found what I did.
Shifting my mindset to be thankful for my past, no matter how triggering it may have been to finally and contently appreciate my personal growth over the past couple of years, noting how important personal fulfilment from past experiences is for each individuals process, to let go and move forward creates immense clarity, and for me this was the final stepping stone.
After having to cut my trip a little short, I ended up at the Poche Skin Cancer research centre in North Sydney, having to do the full strip down of my past medical history, blood tests and the rest. It was intimidating and defiantly hit home walking into the "Cancer Research Room" not sure why, but I started laughing, some how trusting that it would all be okay! I was the youngest person in there by at least 30-40 years, sitting next to a beautiful older lady who kept questioning me on why I was in there, all I took from our conversation was when she said "I wish I had checked myself earlier and not been afraid of the outcome". This is the key point of this post, we all think we are invincible until we are not, the excuses we make or keep telling ourselves can either save us or get us to a point where we wish we had done something as simple as take ourselves to the doctors, it's a small fete in the larger scheme of things. The result may be scary but its even scarier to not do anything at all, living in denial rather than closure! Trust your intuition and what your body is telling you.. mine presented itself as a dream.. yep a dream of myself on the table with my doctor getting the mole cut out, bizarre I know, but it was defiantly telling me something!
Sitting with my amazing surgeon at the Poche Centre, we chatted about what my next steps were. She was very happy with my result from my pathology but couldn't promise that it hadn't spread, so I was booked in to remove extra skin from around the area for further testing. They were very keen to get this done, as finding this type of melanoma on someone so young, not lifestyle or sun caused was a new type of study for them, which I felt kind of happy I could provide them with in a funny way!
Keeping this story to myself, bar a couple people was all I had to do until I had confirmation on the outcome, stick to what will work for you, stick to what ever is going to make your process easier not harder, be honest for yourself and your own process not other people. My tag line that got me through each day without creating a story of something I didn't know was simply "It's all good" and at the end of the day I knew it was going to be!
Going into "surgery day" was when reality finally hit the forefront of my past month, I remember lying in the hospital bed thinking "what ever the outcome, everything will be alright" and it was, everything was clear and with that too my last pathology test. It was a time of intense emotion, as that same day a friend and close friend to many of mine had lost his battle with cancer. He was possibly the strongest most awe inspiring person for someone in his position, sticking out his days like an absolute legend, leaving behind a mindset for many of us not to take life for granted to embrace every moment to the happiest it can be!
The people that I had told about my run in with melanoma immediately went in and finally booked in to get their skin checked, or get tested for what ever they had been "shoving under the health rug" for so long. This is the soul purpose of this post, go and get yourself checked! We have the most amazing people in medicine to help us, call out the reasoning of why you can't go in and simply go get it done, no excuses!
Things will present themselves in life no matter how tragic or intimidating they project themselves to be. At the end of the day they come about to make us create change for the better, if we simply choose to see them that way. Life can change in an instant, stop and think what you're still attaching to that is keeping you down or holding you back, you have the ability to change your perception, shift from where you are to where you want to be, but over all keep life simple, keep life happy and I'm so grateful I get to work with people everyday to do just that!
If this post can help just even one person, I truly believe is why this has all happened. So book yourself in and go get checked, remove the fear and trust that everything will be okay, change your perception and make the commitment to yourself and well-being, simply start!